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A Victorian Scrapbook

A Scrapbook of Newspaper Articles Compiled by George Burgess (1829-1905)

Victorian Culture and Life

The Progress of Vice, and other short articles.

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Transcript from original newspaper articles: -
The Progress of Vice, and other short Victorian era newspaper articlesTHE PROGRESS OF VICE. – An old woman named Henriette was lately expelled from a house in Paris, in the most wretched and poverty-stricken condition. When young she was one of the most dashing courtezans of Paris. Gold literally poured on her, she spent enormous sums on her toilette, and her extravagance was boundless. She has years and years ago outlived her wealth, her beauty, and almost her infamy, a prey to remorse and wretchedness.

NEW CLASSIFICATION. – A married lady, alluding in conversation to the 148th Psalm, observed, that while “young men and maidens, old men and children,” were expressly mentioned, not a word was said about married women. An elderly clergyman, whom she was addressing, assured her they had not been omitted, and that she would find them included in one of the preceding verses, under the description of “vapours and storms.”

JUVENILE VORACITY. – We all know the appetite of a school boy home for the holidays. An indulgent mamma having supplied one of the before mentioned genus with tarts, cakes, &c., to a great extent, tenderly inquired, on seeing her hopeful son pause in his operations, “Bobby, my love, can you not eat any more?” The over-fed darling hesitatingly replied, “Why, y-e-s, mamma, I think I could if I stood up.”

Ragged Urchin – “Please give dad a short pipe?”
Barman – “Can’t do it. Don’t know him.”
Ragged Urchin – “Why, he gets drunk here every Saturday night.”
Barman – “Oh! does he, my little dear? Then, ‘ere’s a nice long ‘un, with a bit of wax at the end.”

GOOD AND ILL NATURE. – Good nature, like a bee, collects its honey from every herb; ill nature, like a spider, sucks poison from the sweetest flower.

“Ma,” said a young lady to her mother the other day, “what is emigrating?”
“Emigrating, dear, is a young lady going to Australia.”
“What is colonizing, ma?”
“Colonizing, dear, is marrying there and having a family.”
“Ma, I should like to go to Australia.”

POINTED OUT. – A minister at a camp meeting said, “If the lady with the blue hat, red hair, and cross-eyes, don’t stop talking, she will be pointed out to the congregation.”

“Prisoner, stand up. Are you guilty or not guilty?”
“Faith, do you think I’d be doing the work of the jury for ‘em, when they’re paid for it? Let ‘em find it out themselves.”

“What makes taters so high?” inquired an old lady of the mark man, as she was purchasing.
“Oh, the war, ma’am.”
“What” she exclaimed, “do they fire taters at the Mexicans?”
– American paper.

It is told of Lord Norbury*, that when passing sentence of death upon a man for stealing a watch, he said to the culprit; “My good fellow, you made a grasp at time, but you caught eternity!”

At a church in Scotland two candidates offered to preach whose names were Adam and Low. The later preached in the morning, and took for his text, “Adam, where art thou?” He made an excellent discourse. In the afternoon, Mr. Adam preached upon the words, “Lo, here am I!” The impromptu gained the appointment.


Life is an inn upon a market day:
Some short-pursed pilgrims breakfast and away;
Some do to dinner stay, and get full fed;
And others after supper steal to bed.
Large are their bills who linger out the day –
The shortest stayers have the least to pay.

* Lord Norbury - the "Hanging Judge" (John Toler born in Co. Tipperary in 1745).